04/13/2011 1:03PM

Woodbine: Altius tests his speed against older Ontario-sired stock


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The speedy Altius will meet older Ontario-sired opposition Friday at Woodbine in the seventh race, a nonwinners-of-three allowance. He shouldn’t be out of his league in the 5 1/2-furlong dash, unless things get too hot and heavy on the front end.

Altius made six starts last year at 2, all in Ontario-sired company. He graduated second time out July 25, earning a respectable 68 Beyer Speed Figure.

Following a seven-week break, Altius doubled up in a six-furlong allowance after setting a lively pace. He was favored Oct. 11 in the six-furlong Bull Page Stakes, in which he led until the final strides before getting overtaken by a sharp Bear’s Peak.

Altius suffered another heartbreaking loss Nov. 3 in the seven-furlong Frost King Stakes, which was won from off the pace by his stablemate Citius. He has been idle since finishing a fading fifth Nov. 27 in the 1 1/16-mile Kingarvie Stakes.

David Clark retains the mount on Altius, who is trained by his breeder, Ralph Biamonte. Clark figures to put Altius on the lead after breaking from post 1.

Ask the Bestman also possesses early foot. He scored twice in 12 starts last year, including in his five-furlong season opener against maiden special types, when he registered a career-high 75 Beyer.

Ask the Bestman set the pace along the inside over an outside-favoring track before tiring to third in his next-to-last race Nov. 20. He capped his 2010 campaign with a dull effort as the favorite in another restricted allowance Dec. 3.

Mobthewarrior was winless in eight outings last year but managed to finish fifth in both the Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes. He made no impact against some formidable rivals in two Ontario-sired stakes in the fall and was a non-threatening fifth as the favorite Nov. 20.

Trainer Greg De Gannes is putting the blinkers back on Mobthewarrior, who competed without them in his last four starts.

Knave of Hearts also is returning from a winter layoff. His two 2010 victories both came over seven furlongs. He raced against the bias when sixth behind Ask the Bestman and Mobthewarrior on Nov. 20.

Objection Denied peaked in November, taking back-to-back events, albeit against weak Ontario-sired stock.

Legal Review captured the 2009 Bull Page but has failed to crack the top three in six starts since then.